On Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reopen the rulemaking process to reconsider its assertion of jurisdiction during the Obama years over large tracts of land remote from navigable water. “The regulation, known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, broadened the definition of the type of water body that would fall under EPA’s formidable clean water enforcement powers, making everything from streams to ditches and watering holes subject to the EPA’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ oversight.” [Washington Examiner; Jonathan Adler]

Good. This was an outrageous regulatory power grab. If Congress decides that it has some Constitutional authority to seize control over seasonal moist depressions on farmland, it should say so explicitly. And if it does, it might want to prepare to set aside large sums under the Fifth Amendment, which states that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

“At least 32 states have sued to prevent the new regulations from taking effect, and the Sixth Federal Appeals Circuit Court stayed the new rules in October, 2016.” [Ronald Bailey, Reason] When you manage to tick off 32 states badly enough for them to sue, you might have gone out on a limb. More: AP, Jonathan Wood.

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